Thursday, November 29, 2012

Driving in Canada-June 2010

Here's the thing,
I keep blaming myself for being too lazy to translate my huge Canadian immigrant experience blog into English, by now there are some 200 posts...and it's been here for the last 5 years but in my first language.I keep feeling guilty because I know there are so many things I needed to know and there was no one to tell me, to make my path and new life a little bit easier...and now I am not finding time to share them with other newcomers who will benefit from the things I have learned.
By now it has almost 400.000 visits, and it has brought some great people in my life and I know that it has helped many coming from my former country or neighborhood, so I decided not to translate all the posts, just to try to sum up things I found useful and important over the last couple of years.

Getting a drivers license in Canada

If you have driving experience from your former country you will need to bring a proof of that like your old driving license translated to English, you might be asked to get a letter from your embassy that you have a certain number of years of driving experience in order to get a chance to get full G Canadian driving license, you will need a certified translation of your driving document, a passport and PR card,as well as some money.
You can buy a car right away but you cannot register or drive a car without Canadian license, the international one is valid for only 2 or 3 months and you would have to rent a car.
More about that here

When buying a car you should know that a car here has to pass safety and emission test first and then it can be registered to your name.

Basically you can call and ask which papers you need to bring and then go and take the test - examples here, the price in Ontario is less than 100$ there is more info here

You can take the test and the driving on the same day if you are ready, however keep in mind that the car insurance for newcomers is relentless and very expensive, as newcomers we used to pay up to 400$ per month sometimes, while an average Canadian driver pays about 100$ or even 80$. If you do the driving course with an instructor and he signs that, your insurance rate can be up to 30% lower in the future.It will cost you a couple of hundred dollars to take classes but it will be a good investment in the long run if it can keep your car insurance rate lower next couple of years.

The cost of insurance depends on where you live, where you work and who is driving the car beside you, also which insurance company you choose.Our best so far was TD.
Drivers handbook here

As you won't be able to have your own car for the driving test, consider renting one or renting from your driving instructor or if you have friend or family here borrowing from them.